The Natural History Museum of Sound was founded in the haunted house on Third Street in Louisville, Kentucky on a day in September of the year two thousand and one. Founding members were Tim Ruth, Zan Hoffman and Rinus van Alebeek (thatâs me writing this). In the weeks prior to the institution, the mansion had seen and heard many charming sounds. The result was that every single object be it animal, vegetal or mineral, was aurally possessed. A fifty minutes exhibition of the site-specific recordings was organized by Zan and installed as a Cdr on his label ZH27. It was agreed upon that each of the founding members would be a curator as well.
In Italy I came across Tibor Macek, an Austrian composer and musician, through a chance meeting. We did site-specific recordings in which we used several landscapes, a fortress, abandoned houses, the sea, a mobile phone, a factory hall, a historic hamlet, a valley, olive trees and the very east of Berlin. The works contained pictures as well and were showed on a multi data Cdr or on line, courtesy of zeromoon. In the years two thousand and three to two thousand and six Das Natur Historisch Museum der KlÃ¤nge hosted three exhibitions. One more exhibition is still on the shelves, ready, but hidden.
In the years two thousand and six and two thousand and seven I have been doing quite some touring. It always included Spain. One reason is, because I like Spain, the second reason being that Spain seemed to like me too. My tour itinerary read like a geographical narrative. The path Bordeaux â Hendaye/Irun â Bilbao and vice versa I must have traveled at least five times. Iâm kind of a local trophy in both of those B-towns. Now while Bordeaux has Radikal Satan and is a town with a kind of life size chess figures feel about it, Bilbao is really rough. But not rough as in rough, but rough as in elegant and worn down. The pandemonic lay out of the town, the mountains that appear at every twist and turn the road takes, the overload of ugly apartment blocks due to some booming constructor, the highway on high legs that cuts the town in two, the beautiful neighborhood of San Francisco with its immigrants and dealers, and loud voices from scarcely lighted bars made me feel at home once.
It is here that I met Oier Iruretogoiena and Miguel Garcia , in Zeromoon catalogue terms TÃ¼sÃ¼ri and Xedh. Though I am the same age as their parents we related very well, and agreed very soon to spend the last hours of my last day playing together rather then going to a bar shouting at each other choosing from a vocabulary that held fifty words of Spanish and forty three words of English. We went to a storing place turned studio in a concrete block that also had a parking space somewhere on the fourth floor. Well maybe it hadnât, but the public space in it looked like that. It also looked like a place where the shadows and echoes and smells of the twentieth century were first compressed and then stored. It looked adventurous and futureless, as a place should when you are young. The furniture was found on the streets and carried up, and when I came back months later Mikelâs girlfriend, whose place it was, had changed the studio into a storyboard for an untold fairy tale, the one that never should be told to grown ups. I consider it a big honor to be brought to her place.
The boys cooked, we had dinner, and we set up. One microphone was put outside on the windowsill; The Bilbao nights were dense. Even if it was December it was still okay to have the windows open. There was nothing fashionable about the view: the block at the other side of the road, an unpretentious stretch of green, maybe mountains if your eyes were good enough. It sounded like another continent, because it sounded like I was very far away from every thing. Then we sat down, and we imagined that we were broadcasting. We played for hours; maybe some ships passing at night picked up the sounds.